Multi Buy-in Madness

Gala Birmingham has made a slight change to their re-entry rule and it’s turned the tournaments upside down. I don’t suggest for a minute that they change it back as the vast majority of players seem to like it, but my own personal view is it doesn’t suit my game as much prior to the first break.
That said if I can get off to a good start in the new style comps then I’ll probably have a much better chance of success in the later stages.
When they first started with the new card room they bravely put on unconditional guarantees 7 nights a week and were putting in lots of money to make up the short fall. So to help reduce these big overlays they started to allow re-entries but these were done in a quite controlled way.
The structure at the Gala is for all normal comp’s 4 x 30 minutes levels, 1st break, then 20 minute levels till the end. (Breaks every 2 hrs)
So the original re-entry system was if you got KO’d in level 1 you could re-enter at the start of level 2. KO in level 2, re-enter in level 3. KO 3 re-enter in 4. 
You could NOT re-enter if you got KO’d in level 4, even though late comers could still buy into the comp up to the end of level 4, which is the 1st break.
So max re-entries was 3 but people rarely did that many. The reason being, depending on when you bust out you may have to wait almost 30 minutes to re-enter, so the short stacks would try and recover and nurse their stack a bit rather than going nuts and throwing their chips in with any 2 cards.
If there was 20 minutes to go in the level they didn’t want to sit out that long, so you may as well nit up and wait at the table and maybe get dealt a genuine hand to shove with. Also when you have to wait over 15 minutes to get back in it gave those on tilt time to cool down a bit.
Now, sadly, they have made it instant re-entry up to the end of level 4, as long as there is a seat for you available on another table. This as I found out last night has made it into a bit of a mad hatter’s tea party. The carpet from the tables to the cash desk was in danger of being worn out as steady stream of players were up and down like a whores knickers.
I was on table 2 and we had a few bust outs prior to the break but it seemed that table 3 was losing a player a hand.
Because of the madness I felt compelled to gamble more than I wanted to. I made a raise over a couple of limpers on the button with KQ which I would generally do anyway. However I would normally be prepared to lay that hand down if I was forced to.
It was about 10 minutes before the break and one of the original limpers an older guy than me, yes there are some, decided to ship in over the top. He had me covered so it was for all my chips.
He was a truly dreadful player so he could have almost anything to make that move. With the old re-entry rules I would have folded and let the few chips go to wait for a better spot, but the chip average was already so high that I felt I needed to gamble and double up or just re-enter. So I made the call.
He had JJ which I was pretty pleased with until I remembered my race winning ability. Sure enough I was out and went to the desk to re-enter.
It was the first time I have ever re-entered at the Gala in all my times playing there, which is testimony to my nitty style and the excellent pre-break structure. 
With literally 3 mins to go I get put on table 3. Bearing in mind that the starting stack was 12,000 chips it shows what the table was like by the fact that the chip leader had 108,000 which equates to his starting stack plus 8 other players. Several other players had over 36,000. 
The guy who had all the chips was a complete poker pillock, a very lovely guy mind you, but didn’t have the first clue about poker.
Don’t think he folded pre-flop more than 3 times a round and it was impossible to make him fold once he’d put a chip in the pot.
On the break at the Gala the dealer counts the players stacks and then writes them on a card so everyone can see. I like this as I’m paranoid about it as I’ve had chips stolen from my stack at DTD once on the break. Anyway when I get back from the break I check the card and add up the total chips. Just on our table we had 360,000 chips.
So as we were just about to start the 300/600 blind level the chip average was 60 BB’s on our table. You don’t get that in a £20 comp very often!
Anyway very quickly I get moved back to table 2 to balance the tables and I’m really disappointed as I figured I was either going to get busted or win mega chips on table 3.
Anyway 5 mins later they move the lovely chip leader from table 3 to my table. Within minutes the action gets folded to me and I get AQs in mid position. (Still 300/600). I make it 1,500 and it folds to the BB the charming chip leader man.
He politely asks how much I have behind, and I reply 12k (I’ve taken the blinds a couple of times) so he puts the lot in. I call and he shows A,10. The way he’d been running I confidently predicted that he’d win and of course I was right. In time honoured fashion he didn’t hit his 10 till the river.
He very politely apologised to me in that well-mannered way our oriental friends do and I was away cursing my luck again. (running like a drain since 1976) 
What made matters worse is I couldn’t just flounce out the room like normal as I had to wait for my mate Derek to bust out or win me some money. (We always do 10%) So I just had to wait around and suffer watching muppets with chip stacks so big they needed a building permits donk them off to each other.

James Harcourt

Fortunately James Harcourt was there and having busted also I was able to sit and chat to him for a good while. I like the way James plays and we always talk “poker tactics”. I think we have some similarities in our styles of play, but players who don’t know us probably think we are very different. I actually think James is a bit tighter than his table image and I’m a bit looser than mine, so we sort of meet in the middle.

Anyway Derek sadly busted out in 11th place with 9 paid so a double frustration.
The chip average with 11 players left was about 55 BB’s which is very unusual for a small buy in comp but the staggering amount of re-entries bloated the chips in play and they were still playing the same way after the break and players were busting so quickly. 
When I’ve made FT’s there before the chip average is about 10 BB’s when the FT starts.
Counting the re-entries they had 71 runners, though I’m guessing they didn’t have many more than 40 actual people there. It had 80+ entries Tuesday night and they get nearly 100 on the Sunday 5.00 pm comp so it shows it’s what the players want.
They are going to be running a £100 comp there once a month (on a Saturday at 5.00 pm I think) with a £10,000 UNCONDITIONAL guarantee. Which sounds a lot better to me than the £150 monthly comp at Star City which has a conditional on 50 runners £10,000 guarantee.
Though this £100 comp has not been officially announced yet I believe it starts in November and they will be running £5 re-buy satellites with 5 seats guaranteed on Monday nights running up to it.
As most of you know I do not have any connection to the Gala casino and I’m not paid to write positive stuff for them, I just write it as I see it. If I was getting any financial incentive to promote them I’d certainly feel obliged to tell you.
Cash Game Sir!
The reason I stated that is it appears that someone (who is not a casino employee) is being paid to promote another Midlands casinos cash games for them. I have been told about this by three different people so I guess there is a good chance its true.
Apparently he invites his poker buddies along to play cash there and gives in a list of invites to the CRM. When these guys turn up he then gets a cut of the rake/session fees that these guys generate.
I run affiliate style websites myself (not gambling ones) and I do know someone who is very big in the gambling affiliate market. He makes a very good living introducing people to poker, bingo and casino slot machine websites. 
But I’ve never heard of a “live” casino having an official affiliate scheme, so I’d be intrigued to find out how they actually pay him. I doubt a casino would be paying anyone in used £20 notes in a brown envelope, so I’m sure it’s all above board.
Next time you do turn up to play cash or enter a tournament at any Midlands casino please say I sent you. I could do with some Brucie bonus points added to my membership card.